Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Many years ago now, King George in his address to the nation in 1939 at the beginning of WWII, quoted the lines from a rather obscure poem by Minnie Haskins.

“ I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied, “Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and surer than a known way.”
So I went forth and finding the Hand of God trod gladly into the night. He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East. So heart be still! What need our human life to know if God hath comprehension? In all the dizzy strife of things both high and low God hideth his intention.

Every year, not surprisingly I suppose, I am drawn back to the poem. Back often, because things seem dark, and I am always in need of light. Back, too because I find it encouraging that others have needed light in the past and found it in the hand of God.

I believe that 2008 will be a significant year for 24-7. In Canada we are feeling a new ground swell as God renews our first love – to be a people of prayer. Over the years we have forgotten that our purpose as a ministry is to pray and to encourage others to pray. This year we hope to pray like never before, to climb into the lap of our Father and to be with Him, to know him, to follow Him, to be changed by Him.

Across the country there are those who have been walking out prayer for years – or maybe you are just new to the idea of praying around the clock. Perhaps you are like me as a youngster who used to say, “I want to want to pray!” Either way, God is calling us to prayer. To pray as we get up and as we lie down. To pray without ceasing! To pray with our actions as well as our words. To allow the intimacy we find in prayer to influence the lives we live in our communities.

It feels to me as if this is a year of movement, or prayerful action and while that excites me it also makes me nervous. Nervous that we’ll actually find the hand of God and let Him lead us. Nervous also that we won’t be up to the task. I was reading in Nehemiah yesterday and a verse really spoke to me. Nehemiah is rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem; you can imagine how popular that was with Isreal’s enemies. Imagine how popular it would be even now! So Israel’s enemies plot to destroy Nehemiah and the work he is doing, they seek to demoralize him. Nehemiah sees through the plot and writes, “They were all trying to frighten us. Thinking, “their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayer, “Now, strengthen my hands.””
Yes God – strengthen our hands. Strengthen our resolve and our desire!

So – if you have it in you, pray more this year, be your prayers more this year. Grab some friends and pray non-stop for a while, see if He doesn’t lead you by the hand towards the hills and the breaking of day in the East!

Happy New Year from all the 24-7 crew!

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